All posts by Gary Mossman

Teach Courage

Welcome back to the Ten Rules series where we examine Lloyd Percival’s list of How to Establish Rapport with Your Athletic Child. In the first post, we looked at the background of Percival and […]

Keep Your Cool

Welcome back to the Ten Rules series where we examine Lloyd Percival’s list of How to Establish Rapport with Your Athletic Child. In the first post, we looked at the background of Percival and […]

Know the Coach

Try to get to know the coach’s philosophy, attitude and ethics. Finding out where your child’s coach is coming from will help you feel more comfortable with them taking a prominent role in your child’s development.

Never Make Comparisons

It’s so important for parents to help their young hockey players understand what they bring to the team.

Coaches vs. Parents

The parent treads on dangerous ground when they criticize a popular coach. The fact that children today are more likely to question the actions of the coach than they were when Percival was coaching makes the second part of his warning more important. The parent is there to support the young player in their endeavours, balance their different reactions to the coach and promote a healthy relationship with the game of hockey. Questioning the coach’s actions in front of your child is not helpful.

Let Them Dream

Rule #5 Don’t live through your hockey player.

Try not to re-live your athletic life through your child. You fumbled too. You lost as well as won. You were frightened, you backed off at times and you were not always heroic. Don’t pressure your child because of your pride.

The Happy Warrior

Rule # 4 Teach them to enjoy the thrill of competition and sharpen their skills.
Don’t say “winning doesn’t count” because it does. Instead, help develop the feel for competing, for trying hard and having fun. Explain that the “Happy Warrior” who loves all aspects of play is usually the best athlete in the long term, certainly the happiest and most well-adjusted one.

Who’s in charge?

If you enjoy a healthy involvement in the athletic life of your children you will naturally want to discuss their games and events and they will want to discuss them with you. The challenge is to always keep your comments supportive and to inspire your children to want to be better and more successful, not to be telling them how they can improve and succeed more often.

It’s All About Balance

Some kids will thrive on the challenge of advancing in hockey. For others, warming the bench on a higher division could shatter their confidence. How does a hockey parent build their young player’s confidence and support their ambitions, all the while making sure they aren’t crushed from the pressure of unrealistic expectations? Keep it fun and keep it in perspective, no matter what level they play.

Love and Accept Your Young Athletes (Regardless of Performance)

This is Percival’s first rule because it underpins all of the rest. If we cannot assure our children that they are loved, that we support them in all of their endeavors and will not judge them based on their success or failure, then what is the point of their engaging in sport at all? It is a precept, which seems obvious and simple; however, in our highly pressurized world of sport, it can become complex and is too often overlooked, even when we are dealing with children under the age of ten.

Are you really supporting your hockey player?

Don’t say “winning doesn’t count” because it does. Instead, help develop the feel for com-peting, for trying hard, for having fun. Explain that the “Happy Warrior” who loves all as-pects of play is usually in the long term the best athlete.

Ten Rules for the Parents of Young Hockey Players

We’ve all seen them at the rink, or heard about them from other parents; we might even be one or have been one of them in the past. They yell at the players from the stands, besmirch the good name of the referee and loudly question the decisions of the coach. Some of them are less conspicuous, sitting off by themselves, intently making mental notes in preparation for the post-game conversation with their son or daughter. They might seem like the hockey parent from hell or they might pass for any other hockey parent, but they are one in the same.